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George W. Roland

Apr 6, 2021

George Wesley Roland, 81, died peacefully in his sleep in the early morning of Monday, March 29, 2021 in Glendale, AZ. He is now the best golfer in the world.

A celebration of life for George Roland will take place in Ruthven this summer.

George was born in Spencer, on Feb. 14, 1940. He grew up in Ruthven. There, he was involved in everything: band, choir, football, baseball, hunting and just about anything a boy in rural Iowa in the ’50s could be.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Drake University in 1964 and quickly joined the world of insurance underwriting. He stayed in that field his whole career, earning a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) license in 1981. He and his family moved to Arizona in 1986. He stayed in insurance, ultimately becoming an agency manager until he retired in 1995.

He met his wife Meredith in Perry, IA in January 1971. They had one child, Patrick Adam Roland. Both still live in Glendale. George and Meredith would have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in May of this year. He was very proud of that.

George spent most of his free time golfing. He earned five holes in ones and played just about every day at Arrowhead Country Club in Glendale, AZ until he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2012. A fighter, George went to the gym to work out every day from his diagnosis until he sustained life-threatening injuries from a fall in June 2020. He also read the newspaper cover to cover every day and read several books a week until his sudden incapacitation.

He said he was proudest of his son Patrick, calling him the greatest legacy he could ask for. Patrick is a Licensed Associate Substance Abuse Counselor, three-time author and speaker. Most of that happened after Patrick got sober in May of 2015. George said watching his son fight his way out of addiction to success was the greatest thrill of his life.

George is survived by his son, Patrick, 46; his wife, Meredith; and his sister, Judi Roland Donahue, who lives in Florida.

He is preceded in death by his father Everett; mother Beverly; Judi’s husband Jim Donahue; and Patrick’s partner Pack.

He carried his love of Ruthven with him his entire life and loved both the town and the people in it until his death. He told his Hospice nurse that he had two goals in death: to be his son’s guardian angel and to be the best golfer in the world. Now he is both and he will be loved until we all reunite in heaven.